By BEN BILUA
We watch them on movies, read them in books and most of us sympathized for them, yet never felt it as a person who had gone through such a tough journey in life.
This is the story of 31- year- old Nickson Hanahunu from Sa’a village, Small Malaita, Malaita Province who recently graduated with a Bachelor of Law at the Fiji National University (FNU).
Raised by a single parent, he showed perseverance and commitment to change not only his life but also his mother’s who had been through thick and thin fought to raise him.
“Life without a father is not easy. There were bullying, hunger at times, I felt poor at times, but what can I do”, Hanahunu said.
“Growing up in such a family is hard because as a child, I don’t have a choice,” he added.
Hanahunu’s mother might be cheering from Heaven seeing her son achieved his dream but looking back at his mother’s struggle to put food on the table every day is so painful for Hanahunu.
Hanahunu reminisced the struggles his late mother had to face playing both roles of a father and a mother for him and his other siblings.
Hanahunu’s humble beginning started in 1999 at the Charles Elliot Fox Memorial Primary School (Sa’a) South Malaita where he did grade one to grade six.
“I remember my schooling days as if it was just last month, not because I was one of the top students, but because I was an average student in the class.
The ambition comes with lots of challenges, criticism and bullying while he was at primary school. The worst nightmare for his mother is how to pay school fees.
“I received a lot of criticism and was belittled by children in the village when I grow up. One of the greatest challenge my mother faced is when it comes to paying school fees. My mother had to bear with it.
“I have to repeat grade six twice and my teachers told me, I was a slow learner and needed to repeat my grade six.
“Many students looked down on me, some made demeaning comments saying that I would never get anywhere in life but my commitment and focus on study remain unchanged.
“I used kerosene lamps for study in those years. Sometimes, I have to skip study time as we ran out of kerosene,” he said.
Like other youths, the influence of societal lifestyle presents a hectic challenge for Hanahunu to remain guided by his determination for a greater education purpose. Listening and Paying attention to the existences of different young people isn’t simple since every one of them has various stories which are emotional and happy at the same time. However, choosing the right peer group was the greatest decision he has ever made.
“I love to learn from individuals who empower me, which causes me to feel certain to move forward and do things that will benefit and help me. As the saying goes; in every pain never give up for not being recognized but strive to be worthy of recognition, this powerful quote kept my determination and perseverance alive.” He added.
“I know many young people out there are facing so much that some decide to just quit. They take alcohol and marijuana as a solution to their problems. Some even take their own lives. But as Dr. Ben Carson and I quote; ‘’the noise of the sea will never disturb the fish from sleeping, therefore, don’t let anything disturb you, stay focused and determined to be on track on whatever you are pursuing in life, turn a deaf ear to every noise that distracts your attention” he said.
Looking back, Hanahunu is forever thankful for the sacrifice of his late mother who has been a key figure in his life.
He also acknowledged the support received from his uncles, aunties, cousins for never giving up on him in his education journey.
“First and foremost, I want to thank God for his Knowledge wisdom and understanding in enabling me to complete my studies despite challenges posed by the global pandemic which affects all the countries in the world including Fiji.
“Secondly, I want to thank the Solomon Islands Government for offering me a scholarship to study law and not forgetting Fiji National University for accepting me to do my Legal studies at FNU.
“My message to all young people out there who might find them in such a situation that I found myself in is, that never give up, always have faith in God in everything you do.
“Always strive to push forward and never listen to the negative words others might say to you. You are born to make your dream come to reality, no one will make it happen for you.
“No matter how old we are we are never too young or too old for success or going after what we want. When you accept yourself and take ownership and accept the consequences of your own decisions, you will overcome all odds in life.
“God has a plan for you. We may not know it. We may seem lost at times, but remember He is in control. Everything will work out for the good of those who love him. We just need to learn to fully trust and surrender ourselves to God,” he said.